irreverent, thought-provoking analysis of the industry-- with an
occasional guest columnist.
An Interview With CHA's Membership VP Sue Turchick
Why and how CHA is forming
chapters and sections.
Staff Report (June 3, 2013)
(Note: Sue owned Scrapbooks Too, an
independent store in Bloomington, MN for 12 years and spent four
years leading Crafter's Home. Prior to that, She spent 16 years in
banking and accounting.)
CLN: What sections and chapters are up and
TURCHICK. There's the Bead Section --
they just named themselves the NABA, North American Bead Association
of CHA). The Leadership team has been meeting at least monthly via
teleconference, and have meetings scheduled at the Bead and Button
Show in Milwaukee.
The Sewing Section is in the "formation" stage.
We had 24 people attend our meeting in Portland, and we have asked
for "leadership volunteers" from those attending, as well as those
who expressed interest in the section who couldn't attend. There is
a Sewing section meeting in Vegas, which will be the next formal
Paper Crafts: This one is very interesting. We
haven't really talked to anyone about starting this, although I
think the entire industry agrees that we need one, so we scheduled a
Paper Crafting Section meeting during the Create-n-Connect Summer
Conference & Trade Show in Las Vegas. Registration for that event is
HIGH -- only Tim Holtz and the new buyer event currently have more
registrants! So we will kick off the formation of that Section at
C-n-C in Vegas.
Social Media: This section is being spearheaded
by Carmi Cimicata, who is a CHA Designer Member. It is intended for
those who work for CHA member companies who are primarily
responsible for "social media." In many cases, these individuals are
now the "voice" of member companies, simply because of the huge
impact that communications through these channels have. They will be
having their first meeting at the Vegas show. Designers: This is our
longest standing section. They are led by a "Designer Council," and
is open to Designer Members. It will also meet in Vegas.
Regarding chapters, the Utah chapter was formed
in March; first chapter luncheon is being held on June 13. While its
comprised primarily of paper crafting manufacturers, the leadership
team, however, is strongly committed to including all crafting
businesses in Utah.
The Southern California chapter has an interim
leadership team that is meeting to discuss future plans.
The Canadian chapter re-formed in December and
is up and running.
And of course, the CHA-UK in Great Britain,
which is really a bit different because it is a separate business
CLN: What areas would you like to see start
TURCHICK: Publishing, Bloggers -- I
would have to say I would like to see any start up where there is a
critical mass. Two years ago would we have ever dreamed that there
would be an interest in a Social Media Section? The most important
thing is that there be a strong voice or two, the commitment of time
by a few key volunteers, and a willingness to be inclusive of all
parties who fit in the section.
For Chapters, we have had people reach out with
interest in a DC/Northern VA chapter, a NJ/NY chapter. I'm in the
Upper Midwest, so I think we'll see those three chapters get going
in the next 12 months. However, like with Utah, if there is a group
of people in a geographic area who want to form a chapter, we will
go where the interest is.
CLN: How will the sections work; what is the
TURCHICK: For the chapters and sections
-- when starting up-- the initial group of "interested people" are
loosely formed into a steering committee. That steering committee
works together to set the initial direction of the section/chapter.
The steering committee then selects the first "Leadership Team"
which is a group of 4 to 12 people who work together to make sure
that the needs of its constituents are met. The Bead team, for
example, is focusing on "retailer education" this year; Canada is
focusing on "communication and consumer awareness"; and Utah is
interested in doing everything it can to strengthen the trade show
and provide networking opportunities. It's fun and exciting to see
the different issues and opportunities the different groups are
focused on --it's all going to strengthen the Association and the
CHA Staff will provide all the administrative
help needed to get the Sections/Chapters up and running; we will set
up events, facilitate initial discussions, collect any fees, record
minutes -- whatever it is that the Groups need us for. The idea is
to ensure that the Volunteers aren't handing "administrivia"--
rather that they focus on content and bringing people together to
achieve all goals.
We are also working hard to make sure that all
the leadership of the Sections and Chapters know each other so that
they can share ideas, concerns, etc., and so that if one group does
something really fabulous, the others have the benefit of it, as
That's where the CHA staff comes in: if we're
working in a part of the business where we aren't "expert, "we're
taking the time to learn, ask a lot of questions, and participate so
that we can react and share across the groups in the most effective
CLN: Once established, what will they do?
TURCHICK. Since we're in the early
stages, this will also be fun to watch. Some may decide to have a
networking meeting with a speaker or a panel discussion once a
quarter; others will be taking on major initiatives to strengthen
their parts of the business. I envision many meetings where our
members are going to be at our own shows, of course, but also at
other related events like the Tucson Bead Shows, Quilt Market, and
even some of the large scrapbooking consumer events. CHA is in the
role of "connector," so we'll be going where the people are to
provide ways for our members to get together and have good things
CLN: What meetings will be held at the show
TURCHICK: Here's the list: Designer
Section Meeting, NABA (Bead) Section, Sewing Section, Paper Crafting
Section, Social Media Section, and the Canada Chapter
CLN: If someone can't make the meeting but
wants to be involved, what should they do?
TURCHICK: For the Designer and Bead
Sections, they can contact Jen Snider (email@example.com).
For the Utah and Southern California Chapters, and the Paper
Crafting and Social Media Sections, they should contact Lidia Diaz (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For the Canadian Chapter and, Sewing Section, they should contact
Paula Jones (email@example.com).
And of course they can contact me:
CLN: Why should someone get involved?
TURCHICK: From my perspective, there are
a lot of reasons that someone should get involved. (These aren't
necessarily in order of importance.)
1. A chapter or a section, as one voice,
will be very effective in communicating to the CHA board of
directors and staff, as well as others in the industry, their needs,
wants, desires and opinions.
2. It's a great way to get to know your
suppliers, retailers, competitors or meet others who can have a
significant impact on your business, and on your own professional
3. If you know how things can be done
better -- this is your chance! CHA CEO Andrej has spent the last 18
months "listening" to our members, and that's a big part of his and
my role on a go-forward basis. There are only 20 people who work for
CHA, but we are great at facilitating and helping provide our
members with the tools to create change and make great things
Those who volunteer, as a rule, tend to be much more "plugged in" to
what's going on in the industry and will know of all the great
opportunities and benefits they can get from being members of the